Axel Springer, Philips Customize TV

MUNICH, GERMANY German publishing giant Axel Springer and Dutch consumer electronics producer Philips have developed a system that will make it possible for television viewers to create personalized channels from their favorite TV and Internet video content.

The software-based system, called TV Digital Personal, will be available on Philips television sets in time for the Christmas season, an Axel Springer rep said Friday. It also will be available for free download onto personal computers and can be used on digital video recorders and mobile devices.

TV Digital Personal will be based on Springer’s digital TV guide, which makes use of the publisher’s editorial program information services and operates globally. The software, a Philips product called APRICO, automatically learns viewing preferences and suggests additional programming based on what has already been chosen by the viewer building his or her own channel.

The Springer rep said that the marketing concept for TV Digital Personal has not yet been fully fleshed out but will involve targeted advertising based on viewing preferences as registered by APRICO. The advertising will be in addition to the regular TV commercials already embedded in programs selected by viewers and will be permission-based, meaning the viewer can opt out of watching the extra ads.

The technology will be introduced to the public in the summer, either at Berlin’s IFA consumer electronics trade fair in August or Amsterdam’s IBC in September.

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